Poleman James Jakes, Robert Wickens and Josef Newagarden. GP3 Series: Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the GP3 Series qualifying press conference. Joining us today is poleman James Jakes from Manor Racing, Robert Wickens from Status GP and Josef...
Poleman James Jakes, Robert Wickens and Josef Newagarden.
GP3 Series: Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the GP3 Series qualifying press conference. Joining us today is poleman James Jakes from Manor Racing, Robert Wickens from Status GP and Josef Newgarden from Carlin.
GP3 Series: James congratulations, but tough conditions today. Tell us about your session.
James Jakes: Yeah it was a similar session to yesterday to be honest. I think we actually crossed the line and there was still about 40 seconds left of the session. I knew we were strong in the condition because it was the same story as yesterday and I just had to be patient and wait for the right moment.
I pitted very early, actually I was late getting out and the session had already started so I went out and did two laps and then pitted very early. I went through some things with the team and double checked everything, and then ran for the last fifteen minutes.
I think we've been quick since the start of the year, but we just haven't got the best out of the situations we've had, for example Silverstone was my fault but the team did a great job. I think with regards to not starting on pole, I think the FIA got it wrong yesterday and I think they didn't even ask the drivers what their opinion was. There is supposed to be a driver helping out. On a drying track it even if you're trickling around when there's a yellow flag it doesn't matter, you are still going to go quicker than it is when it's wet. If even you're 2 seconds up going in and then back down, you're still going to go quicker. I was disappointed yesterday but it's out of hands and you've just got to move on.
GP3 Series: What are your expectations for the race?
James Jakes: I think we've definitely got the pace to win and that's what I'm aiming to do, but obviously it depends on the weather. It's a bit of an unknown at the moment.
GP3 Series: Robert great qualifying result. It looked like at the end of the session you shot up from nowhere. Talk us through your session.
Robert Wickens: You could tell that when it wasn't raining that the track was going to get quicker and quicker so for the first half of the session I just pounded around and got rid of fuel and then basically the last laps of the session I just pushed really hard. It wasn't until the last 5 minutes when the track actually became good, so that's when everything happened. We had a bad timing starting my last lap. We started it with 1 min 35 seconds left so really it was unlucky rather than anything. my lap was pretty solid and uneventful. I probably could've got a bit more out of it but I'm sure everyone's in the same situation. When a track is drying that quickly you don't know what to expect. In the end I went pole but then James bumped me down. I'm happy with P2, but like James I have a penalty so it is what it is.
Yesterday you probably could've got away with try tyres for the last five minutes, it would've been risky but probably quicker because there was a dry line everywhere but today there was oly really sector three where a dry line started to emerge. Other than that there wasn't any. It was tough conditions, but so in both dry and wet qualifying sessions in GP3 I've been in the top 3 so I'm pretty pleased.
GP3 Series: What are you expecting in the race later today?
Robert Wickens: I'm yet to go off the track in free practice or qualifying so I think my pace is pretty good considering I haven't gone over the limit yet. I'm confident for the race, rain or shine really. It should be a good race.
GP3 Series: Josef great result. It's your best qualifying of the season so far.
Josef Newgarden: Yeah like you said it was our best and I think it was a long time coming. We've had a lot of pace which you can't see sometimes. It's difficult with timesheets because I think they can be deceiving. A lot of it has been down to me with my inexperience but I'm really trying to learn as quickly as possible and i think we've bridged a lot of that gap but obviously with this field being so competitive everything has to be right and you have to do a good job and get the most out of the car regardless of what team you are. Carlin has done a great job and has a good enough to be at the front but you just have to make the most it and make it happen. I'm really pleased for the team more than anything as they really deserve to be up there including myself. Obviously it's just qualifying so you have to back it up with the races but hopefully we can have a good run.
GP3 Series: You are one of the few drivers who didn't get a penalty in yesterday's session so you will start the race from pole position.
Josef Newgarden: Yeah, it's tough because I know how the officials are and there is no give with them. I mean we were quite quick yesterday so that's why I felt good for today. And even finishing 25th in practice, we we're P1 with three laps to go and that's when the yellows came out. To be fair I made a couple of mistakes but the last couple of laps when the yellows came out I didn't even push at all because the track was trying quite quick and it's very easy to go quicker so there's is no chance of risking it. You know the track is going to try. But it is a tough call and if i was on the other end of the spectrum I would be equally disappointed. Either way it goes you are going to be unhappy with it sometimes. Foruntely this time we benefitted from it.
GP3 Series: If the race is going to be dry are you confident in the car and setup?
Josef Newgarden: Yeah for sure. I've never been around here before, and I think we are going to be stronger in the dry than the wet. It will be fun if it's dry. We have a good idea of what we need and I'm in a good frame of mind. So either way... if it downpours before the race then that's what we have to do but I think it will mix it up a lot if it's dry.
This championship is a lot tougher than anything I've ever done before. You have a really strong depth of drivers here and obviously on the Formula One calendar everyone is super aggressive and out to prove a point, including myself, but it is a step and I'm working as hard as I can it just takes a bit of time.